Can there actually be disadvantages to SEO? Turns out there are!
Search Engine Optimization is a digital marketing tool that optimizes a website to perform well in search engines, such as Google and Bing.
With a solid SEO strategy in place, when conducting a google search is conducted, your website will appear on top of other search results.
Both ranking and appearing well for search results of your target audience in organic search listings is what SEO aims to do.
A typical monthly SEO plan involves, but is not limited to the use of keywords to appear in search rankings to build your site’s organic visibility and authority. It is done to drive traffic to your website, generate leads, and convert leads into sales.
It all sounds great – deliver great content, rank well, and get free traffic to your site for the foreseeable future. But, are there downsides to search engine optimization?
Here are 12 points that you should be aware of before investing time, energy and money into organic search results.
1. The wrong kind of notice
A good SEO optimized website can draw in more than just your target audience. Your competitors may be on the lookout as well, and if their business is affected, they too will soon resort to the same strategies for their website as well.
The competition can be fierce. Moreover, your popularity will attract people and businesses who will try to sell you stuff rather than the other way round.
2. Coping with increased demand
Once you start ranking higher, more traffic will hopefully lead to more sales, which is great. It is what you were going for.
But if the demand for products is so high that you run out of stock, it is nothing but opportunities lost. Even worse, your customers may be left disappointed.
This increase in leads as your SEO gets into full swing is something you must be able to handle. You should have proper systems and structures in place to meet the increased demand, or you may end up in a dissatisfied customer.
Worse still, you may even lose him to your competitor.
3. Changing algorithms
Technology is changing every day. Social media platforms and search engine platforms undergo changes frequently as well.
Google makes updates to its algorithm regularly for more accurate results and to ensure nobody is cheating the system, or “gaming the algorithm”.
While this is actually a good thing as a whole, even a small change can drastically change your position.
One day you are at the top of the search rankings on the first page, then a small algorithm change is introduced and suddenly you may find yourself somewhere in the third or fourth page, far away from the impressions and possible clicks.
With 75% of users only seeing the first page of the search results, you may have to rely more than SEO to retain your position at the top of search results.
You have to constantly watch out for any new changes or updates, including the technical aspects as well. Google is strict with this.
If you do not have a mobile-optimized site, Google will penalize you heavily. Make sure your site aligns with any updated requirements.
Always keep an eye on the latest updates on algorithms that are released by Google which helps you to know about the current situation and status of SEO.
4. Difficulty churning out appropriate keywords
Crafting content around the right keywords is a constant battle. The language people search for is always changing, so Google search trends are always changing along with that.
On top of that, your competitor is likely to use the same keywords related to the industry as you for his website strategy.
If that business is a big player in the niche, you may find it difficult to beat out the competition and rank above the brand. It will require consistent effort and research to beat him on those popular keywords.
Keywords are dominated by the huge brands that most other brands will find it difficult to outrank. Instead of just product pages, Google is churning out more articles and other forms of content related to the search item.
To capture a good position, the quality of the content on your site should be the best on the internet.
5. Results take time
If you are looking to increase your traffic and rankings quickly, then SEO might not be the best fit for you.
You have to put in consistent effort month after month before results start showing. This is because it takes time for search engines to crawl, index, and rank the content of a website.
You can shell out money, use the best content and keywords, update your site, and use best all the practices; the results will still take some time to manifest.
If looking for immediate rankings, you should look into other means – such as Pay Per Click advertising.
6. Absolutely no guarantee on results
With so many variables all working at once, getting to the first page may be difficult, let alone the #1 position.
A reputable SEO company makes no promises. You can update content, website features, and still your critical keyword rankings barely move.
The main reasoning behind this is that you have no control over the algorithm. How could you promise #1 rankings to a low authority medical site in July of 2018, just before the “medic update” came into effect?
More than likely, you’ll be breaking that “improved rankings” promise, as you have no control over Google’s algorithm.
It requires patience, dedication, and consistency. Even then, results are never set in stone.
7. The longer time frame for ROI as well
Not just the ranking and position, SEO takes a long time to generate Return on Investment as well.
Even when you start getting increased sales, it will take a substantial amount of time to achieve a good Return on Investment (ROI) from all your efforts.
Whether it is worth it, depends on the business. Small businesses that are relying on short term solutions to traffic and revenue might find SEO pointless until the website grows.
It’s important to note, a profitable SEO campaign takes time.
8. SEO requires substantial spending – time or money
SEO is not a free digital marketing tool. It requires money. On top of that cost, if you don’t have the time or patience to learn the ins and outs of how to run a successful campaign, you may want to outsource that to an expert in SEO optimization.
In particular, if yours is a very competitive niche, you have to shell out a substantial amount of money to remain consistently near the top.
Alternatively, you can spend the time to learn the best practices of Search Engine Optimization. But that takes time and energy away from other aspects of your business.
9. You do not have full control
When it all boils down. you don’t really have 100% control over this marketing tool, no matter your expertise or experience.
While we do know there are over 200 ranking factors, nobody fully knows the nuances of Google algorithms.
You may work on improving search engine rankings based on things you think are important, only to decrease in search visibility for your main keywords.
While optimizing certain areas of your content can help Google understand and index your content better, ultimiately, the search enginge giant gets the final say in how you appear online, if at all.
Only Google has this absolute control.
10. Risk of being penalized by Google
Many changes have been made to Google’s search algorithms over the years.
These companies that spent years on their SEO campaigns were penalized after these changes went live.
Not only is it for demoralizing, but all the effort over the years has to be done all over again to see yourself at the top once more. Not to mention, a manual action penalty by Google can be difficult to recover from.
Developing a new strategy from scratch is not something people can afford or be motivated to do.
11. Unethical practices can earn you a penalty as well
While most companies rely on fair means and will put in their best effort to make their content the reason why they rank well, some others will break the rules to get you at the top within a short frame of time.
This involves huge risks, also known as “black hat SEO” as it goes directly against Googles Terms of Service.
If you get caught with a Google penalty, you will be blacklisted from search results due to unethical practices.
Penalties list these come from bad backlinking techniques. Pointing 1,000 links at a site overnight is unnatural and Google can sense this.
Make sure the SEO company you put in charge of your campaign is trustworthy and uses one white hat linking techniques.
12. Affordability to spend more money
There will always be businesses in your niche or industry who have more resources and can afford to spend more on SEO related activities.
They may indulge in paid positions to boost their rankings over you and get a pedestal spot on the search results page.
They may afford to do this consistently as well to secure their prime spot, which you may not be able to do.
Final word for the disadvantages of SEO
Undeniably, SEO has its set of benefits.
But it suffers from a lot of limitations too, the more prominent ones being it takes a lot of time and effort to strategize SEO activities.
It takes a lot of time to generate desired results and ROI. It requires a lot of expertise to not only keep track of changes but also to churn out content that is unique and valuable as everyone in the industry will be doing their absolute best to attract, engage and capture the audience.
Sometimes the resources required versus the return are not worth it to execute a full-fledged, robust SEO program.
It is up to each individual business to analyze if putting time, effort, and money in SEO activities is profitable and sustainable in the long run.
It all comes down to your business and budget for SEO. If you stick at the right practices and have patience, organic traffic can become a very valuable tool.
If you’re thinking about investing in search engine optimization, Easy Mode Media offers a huge range of services at very competitive prices.
Get in touch today and improve your organic results!